Davinci Ascent vs Airvape XS – Old vs New

Today we have a showdown between the DaVinci Ascent and the Apollo Airvape XS. I’ll be comparing them head to head on all the most important features a vaporizer can have, including vapor quality, manufacturing quality, battery life, portability, and others. If you’re looking for your next vaporizer and are having a hard time choosing between these two, look no further…

Ascent vs Airvape XS

Vapor Quality

The Ascent produces very good vapor. The heating style is a blend of convection and conduction, and the vapor pathway is comprised entirely of glass. The heating chamber is also located on the bottom of the unit, which gives the vapor more time to cool as you inhale.

The flavor and density are both great, although I have noticed the vapor coming through a little hot at times despite the long vapor pathway I just mentioned. There are many vaporizers that deliver hotter vapor than this, but it’s still noticeable if you are coming from a portable like the Solo or a desktop.

The Airvape XS produces vapor that’s actually a good deal like the Ascent. It also has a hybrid convection and conduction heating system, and the vapor pathway is ceramic and glass. While the flavor and vapor density are similar to the Ascent’s, I think the Airvape XS has two advantages.

First, the vapor is cooler. This is a bit counter-intuitive because the vapor pathway seems shorter, but that’s how I experienced it. Second, the Airvape XS has very little draw resistance. I like when I can take a nice big draw, and that’s easy with this vape.

Manufacturing Quality

The Ascent is well made. I really like the way they set up the vapor pathway and mouthpiece. There are two glass pieces that sit inside the unit, and they’re easily removed. The top piece is the mouthpiece and it slides up and down over the other one so that you can stash it away inside the unit when you aren’t using it.

The Ascent also has a digital screen with precise temperature control and a good battery life. Based on my use, the Ascent can deliver up to 1.5 hours with every charge. It can take a decent amount of time to charge though, with 4 to 5 hours being typical.

While from the outside the Ascent appears to be a well put together device, warranties for the Ascent seem to be a bit on the high side. I personally have gone through 3 Ascents and two of them were with a month of each other.

Heat up time is another area where the Ascent is showing its age, the Ascent roughly takes a minute to a minute and a half to reach its temperature, which is now considered slightly above average.

The Airvape XS is also well made, and the most impressive feature is the size. More specifically, the thinness. There aren’t any other vaporizers with this shape, and the thinness makes it seem almost like a cell phone.

Like the Ascent, the Airvape XS has a digital screen and precise temperature control. The Airvape XS also heats up in an impressive 30 seconds which means you can get to your sessions in half the time of the Ascent. The one downside is the battery, which only lasts up to an hour. Expect about 4 to 6 sessions with this. Overall though, I think the Airvape XS has the more impressive build quality thanks to the shape and quick heat up.

Ease of Use

These are both comparable when it comes to how easy it is to use them. They each have buttons on the device itself to control all of the functionality (no app), along with a digital screen to make setting the temperature simple.However the Ascent is a bit harder to use because it needs cleaned and stirred more often. Cleaning is probably our biggest complaint as its almost impossible to get the glass completely clean because of the tubes shape. And the glass pieces in the Ascent tend to be more fragile than the Airvape XS mouthpiece and will need replacing more frequently.

For this reason we have to give this category to the Airvape XS.


These are portable in different ways. This Airvape XS’s strength really comes down to how thin it is, because the overall height and width aren’t that different between these two.

The Airvape XS is just so nice to carry in your pocket, which is a big part of portability. Like I said before, the thinness makes it seem like a cell phone. To make it even better, there is a nice case that you can buy that fully encloses the vape and mouthpiece.

On the other hand, the Ascent offers a slightly better battery life. Getting a few extra sessions out of a charge can be a big deal when you are traveling or out and not around a power source. However the Ascent does require you to carry its own special charger, while the XS offers USB charging.

If you are forced to carry your vaporizer in your front pocket, you’ll appreciate the Airvape XS and even with the slightly shorter battery life the previously mentioned USB charging capabilities make it easy to top up when out.

Battery Life

I already talked about the battery life for both of these above. For the sake of being thorough, I’ll repeat it all again now.In my experience, the Ascent offers up to 1.5 hours of battery life for every charge, but can vary as low as an hour based on temperatures used. The Ascent does take a very long time to charge though.

The Airvape XS can only last for an hour, which should be more than enough for the average user, but it still does not last as long as the Ascent.


The Airvape XS already had an advantage here thanks to the size and ability to be easily concealed, but the Ascent also does something that I think is a pretty big drawback.

When you are holding it, vapor can come out the bottom if you tilt it at all. Vapor pouring out the bottom of your hand is not my idea of discreet, maybe you feel differently though.

Temperature Flexibility

The Airvape XS is capable of heating your herb to any temperature between 93C and 220C. You won’t use over half of these temperatures because they’re too cool for the materials most people vape, but it fully captures the range that you need as well. Adjusting the temperature is a s simple as using the up and down arrows.

The Ascent can heat up to 221C, which is only 1 degree more and not enough to differentiate it. Like the Airvape XS, controlling the temperature is as simple as using the up and down arrows.


The Apollo Airvape XS is the winner of this showdown.

It actually managed to beat or tie the Ascent in every category except battery life. This is understandable though, because Apollo had a battery specially made for the Airvape XS in order to keep the vaporizer so thin. Since the thinness is one of it’s best qualities, I’m willing to excuse the below average battery life and deal with it.

Aside from the one small problem, I have only good things to say about it. The vapor is cool, smooth, and flavorful, and the build quality is great.

The DaVinci Ascent isn’t bad either, but I can’t help feeling that it’s a little dated at this point. There isn’t anything about it that makes me want to use it over one of the other vapes I have. It’s not the smallest or most discreet. It doesn’t produce the best vapor. It’s not the cheapest. For the performance, I feel like your money is better spent elsewhere.

If you like the features that both these units have to offer but are looking to spend closer to under $200, we would recommend checking out the Zeus Smite+. It also features a display, precise temperature control but also has up to 2 hours of battery life.

Also be sure to check out our Portable Vaporizer Ranking Chart to see how these units stack up against the field.

About Author

Milad is a gadget collector and master crafter extraordinaire. He loves taking things apart, marvel comics and 'Iron Man.'

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